New broad spectrum anti-viral developed at MIT

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Telchar
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Re: New broad spectrum anti-viral developed at MIT

Postby Telchar » Sun Nov 06, 2011 2:09 am UTC

justaman wrote: However, having actually read the paper, I suspect that it is unlikely to ever make it to actual use due to difficulties in delivery and the fact that they infected and treated at the same time - you would need to take this as a prophylactic for it to be effective, and how many people are willing to do that?


Your drawing false conclusions from the data.

The results of the study conclude that it works when taken at or near the time of infection. It very well could be effective several cycles past infection but that data was not collected. Making the assumption that it would be ineffective doesn't seem to be supported by the available evidence.
Zamfir wrote:Yeah, that's a good point. Everyone is all about presumption of innocence in rape threads. But when Mexican drug lords build APCs to carry their henchmen around, we immediately jump to criminal conclusions without hard evidence.

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Re: New broad spectrum anti-viral developed at MIT

Postby justaman » Sun Nov 06, 2011 8:17 pm UTC

Telchar wrote:Your drawing false conclusions from the data.
The results of the study conclude that it works when taken at or near the time of infection. It very well could be effective several cycles past infection but that data was not collected. Making the assumption that it would be ineffective doesn't seem to be supported by the available evidence.

Perhaps, however to quote the actual paper:
More extensive trials are also needed to determine how long after infection DRACOs can be used successfully, or if DRACOs are useful against chronic viral infections without producing unacceptable levels of cell death in vivo.

It seems that they have some doubts over the potential use for this after infection. I don't doubt that it will be useful for early infections, indeed, it seems to be very effective against early infections and a potentially great tool for outbreaks.
Edit: Dammnit too much latex.
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Re: New broad spectrum anti-viral developed at MIT

Postby Yakk » Sun Nov 06, 2011 9:48 pm UTC

justaman wrote:Perhaps, however to quote the actual paper:
More extensive trials are also needed to determine how long after infection DRACOs can be used successfully, or if DRACOs are useful against chronic viral infections without producing unacceptable levels of cell death in vivo.
It seems that they have some doubts over the potential use for this after infection. I don't doubt that it will be useful for early infections, indeed, it seems to be very effective against early infections and a potentially great tool for outbreaks.
Edit: Dammnit too much latex.
Of course they have doubts. If they didn't have doubts, they aren't doing science.

This isn't the power of positive thinking about crystals, this is science. And in science, you doubt that anything will work, and you work out ways it won't work, and you test the ways that it won't work, and only after you have checked every way it won't work do you say "fuck ya, we won".

So instead of saying "if everything pans out, this is a cure for the common cold", you say "the things that might prevent this from being a cure for the common cold are as follows, (...), and further research is required." These do, however, mean the same thing.
One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision - BR

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Re: New broad spectrum anti-viral developed at MIT

Postby justaman » Mon Nov 07, 2011 1:21 am UTC

Yakk wrote:Of course they have doubts. If they didn't have doubts, they aren't doing science.

This isn't the power of positive thinking about crystals, this is science. And in science, you doubt that anything will work, and you work out ways it won't work, and you test the ways that it won't work, and only after you have checked every way it won't work do you say "fuck ya, we won".

Science is not about doubting at all, it is about objective interpretation of results - my interpretation (well, prediction) of their results is that this will work well as an early preventative measure, but will not work well for full blown infection, something that they also note is a possibility. My interpretation is based on my knowledge of viral infections (I am a virologist), and the typical course of drug development. I also note that similar approaches have been tried before using plasmid based systems, which are quite robust, but suffer from the same objections.

So instead of saying "if everything pans out, this is a cure for the common cold", you say "the things that might prevent this from being a cure for the common cold are as follows, (...), and further research is required." These do, however, mean the same thing.

I'm not going to argue semantics here.
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Re: New broad spectrum anti-viral developed at MIT

Postby iop » Mon Nov 07, 2011 2:51 am UTC

justaman wrote:This drug was tested on ssRNA viruses and appears to be effective. However, having actually read the paper, I suspect that it is unlikely to ever make it to actual use due to difficulties in delivery and the fact that they infected and treated at the same time - you would need to take this as a prophylactic for it to be effective, and how many people are willing to do that?

Which is probably why this was published in PLOS One.

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Re: New broad spectrum anti-viral developed at MIT

Postby justaman » Mon Nov 07, 2011 3:32 am UTC

iop wrote:Which is probably why this was published in PLOS One.

Maybe, though many institutions now require that works funded by them are published in open access publications first. Having said that, PLOS One, isn't exactly the highest rated of the lot.
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Re: New broad spectrum anti-viral developed at MIT

Postby iop » Mon Nov 07, 2011 2:17 pm UTC

justaman wrote:
iop wrote:Which is probably why this was published in PLOS One.

Maybe, though many institutions now require that works funded by them are published in open access publications first. Having said that, PLOS One, isn't exactly the highest rated of the lot.

Seriously? I have never heard of that before.

Some funding agencies indeed require that publications are/become open acces (in cell biology that's usually after 6 months), but normally, closed-access journals do honor that.

PLOS One is special among journals in that it's not important whether something is new, interesting, or relevant; all that matters is that experiments and statistics are correct. Sometimes they get papers that are just too controversial elsewhere, or that are too ahead of their times to be appreciated at their true value, but often it's where you send research on which you were scooped, or where you have a neat experiment, some neat observations, but where you aren't really learning anything new.

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Re: New broad spectrum anti-viral developed at MIT

Postby Telchar » Tue Nov 08, 2011 5:37 am UTC

justaman wrote:
More extensive trials are also needed to determine how long after infection DRACOs can be used successfully, or if DRACOs are useful against chronic viral infections without producing unacceptable levels of cell death in vivo.

It seems that they have some doubts over the potential use for this after infection. I don't doubt that it will be useful for early infections, indeed, it seems to be very effective against early infections and a potentially great tool for outbreaks.
Edit: Dammnit too much latex.


I think you're reading what you want to in that statement. The statement quite literally means "We don't have enough information to say whether or not it's good further in the infection cycle. We need more data."

What you are apparently hearing is "We don't think it'll work if used later in the infection cycle but we need to get more data."

It appears very clear that they are saying they don't know how far out in can be used and that that data is not available. I don't know how else to read that.
Zamfir wrote:Yeah, that's a good point. Everyone is all about presumption of innocence in rape threads. But when Mexican drug lords build APCs to carry their henchmen around, we immediately jump to criminal conclusions without hard evidence.

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Re: New broad spectrum anti-viral developed at MIT

Postby HungryHobo » Thu Nov 10, 2011 12:22 pm UTC

BaronSweetly wrote:Also, as far as I know, viruses don't share genetic material the way that bacteria do, so resistance isn't really much of an issue.


they don't normally but they can do it if 2 strains infect the cell at the same time: you can get crossing over between the strands of viral DNA/RNA much like with human chromosomes.
Some of the very early work mapping viral genomes was based on this behavior.

TheSoberPirate wrote: For some reason, all bacteria seem to be equally vulnerable to this, and no resistant strains have yet appeared.


I would imagine that it's the difference between evolving resistance to a subtle poison and evolving resistance to the shotgun blast to the forehead.
justaman put it far better though.
Give a man a fish, he owes you one fish. Teach a man to fish, you give up your monopoly on fisheries.


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